Friday, December 28, 2007

Fiery Preaching

"Then he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones." (Luke 3:7-8, NKJV)

John the Baptist did not pull any punches when he confronted his religious opponents. No doubt John would be branded as a “hell fire and brimstone” preacher if he were here today. Although his message was not politically correct, it was theologically correct. In addition, his apparent harshness is an action motivated by love.

These religious opponents of John had developed a system that claimed to be true, but was actually in error. John calls them a bunch of snakes. Not very seeker sensitive! These religious leaders felt that they were part of God’s kingdom because of their ethnic tie to Abraham. John explained that those who do not display true repentance and dependence of God demonstrate that they are not true sons of Abraham.

"just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham." (Galatians 3:6-7, NKJV)
It is not a loving thing to affirm error. Only those people who care about you will tell you that your breath stinks. It is not a loving thing to allow someone to continue down the path of falsehood because you do not want to hurt their feelings.

"let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins." (James 5:20, NKJV)

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